Newspaper article International New York Times

Fuel-Efficient Jets Give Airbus an Edge in Orders

Newspaper article International New York Times

Fuel-Efficient Jets Give Airbus an Edge in Orders

Article excerpt

The orders reflect Airbus's dominant position in the market for the most expensive aircraft: large wide-bodies with more than 400 seats.

In their rivalry as the world's top makers of passenger aircraft, Airbus captured the lead in jets ordered last year, but Boeing delivered more planes to customers.

A strong recovery in demand for more fuel-efficient jets -- particularly for long-range twin-aisle models from airlines in the Gulf and Asia -- helped push Airbus, which is based in France, ahead of Boeing, its American rival. Airbus said it had net orders of 1,503 planes last year, compared with 1,355 reported by Boeing. The total value of Airbus's net orders for 2013 stood at $225 billion, compared with $198 billion for Boeing, based on published list prices. That gave Airbus a 53 percent share of the market by value.

The value of new orders, in part, reflected Airbus's dominant position in the market for the most expensive type of jet: large wide-body planes with more than 400 seats, such as the twin-deck A380. Airbus received 54 new orders for the plane, compared with 12 orders for Boeing's stretch version of the 747.

Both companies are riding a wave of growth in demand for air travel in emerging markets. They are also benefiting from significant pent-up demand from United States airlines, which delayed renewing aging fleets as they struggled to emerge from bankruptcy or restructure operations.

Not all orders are fulfilled, and the companies book revenues closer to the dates the planes are delivered. Airbus said it delivered 626 planes to 93 customers last year, up from 588 planes in 2012. It was the largest number of deliveries for Airbus. But the company fell short of the 648 deliveries reported last week by Boeing, which sharply accelerated production of its popular 737 single-aisle and 777 wide-body models. Boeing reached that number of deliveries, an industry record, even as an investigation into problems with the 787 Dreamliner kept airlines waiting several additional months to receive the planes. …

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